Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Tower Cross, 1897-1970


Tower Cross was an honor society for seniors founded in 1897 by then-student Alaric Bertrand Start. Election to Tower Cross was considered one of the highest honors that could be bestowed on an undergraduate. The group's motto was "For the Highest" and its mission was "to advance the best interests of Tufts College by maintaining a high standard of loyalty among the undergraduate students." Induction took place in a ceremony in Goddard Chapel complete with caps and gowns.

Tower Cross played an important role in campus activities. Its members organized lecture series, all-campus dinners, and other activities. Until 1903, when the Interfraternity Council was organized, Tower Cross oversaw the annual rush period for all fraternities on campus. Officially, Tower Cross was charged with the following activities: it ran Tufts Night and rallies before games, assumed the duties of the Under Class Rules Committee, supervised competition for organized cheerleading, policed regular chapel meetings, ran the annual sports dances, assumed the duties of the Athletic Association Nominating Committee, conducted organized financial drives, conducted elections of cheerleaders, conducted Junior and Sophomore elections, including counting of votes, elected from its own membership three men to represent Tufts on the Class Day Committee. The society also sponsored two annual singing competitions, the Christmas Sing and the Spring Sing. In these competitions student groups, either fraternities, sororities, or dormitory groups, prepared songs and were awarded prizes for their performances.

Election to the society at first was by vote of the faculty, but after the first class was elected, election was by the membership of the society, who selected the following year's members from the Junior class. During the academic year 1923-24, there was criticism as some felt that fraternity politics and popularity had undue weight in the selection process. A revision of the rules in 1929-30 changed the process and from that time forward the society nominated qualified members of the rising class, and the class as a whole voted to elect members of the society.

The last elections for the society were held in April 1969 for the 1969-70 academic year.

Source: TN, Spring 1946, 143-44; LOH1; AO14

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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